College of Medicine MD Curriculum

Rocket Medicine: Phase 2 – Preparing for Launch

The Trajectory of our Clinical Curriculum

Graphic with information on launch of new clinical curriculum on May 2, 2022

The next phase of The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences' Rocket Medicine curriculum reform continues with an in-depth review and revision of the clinical curriculum.

Redesign of our clinical curriculum is a phased process.  Initial reform of the clinical curriculum started in Summer 2019 with the work of the fourth-year task force, whose charge was to review and recommend changes to create a cutting edge fourth-year (Advanced Clinical Experience phase) curriculum.  The task force recommendations included:

  1. Addition of a 2-week required Emergency Medicine rotation;
  2. Recognition of the need for a targeted, longitudinal Transition to Residency course (Advanced Clinical Care -1, 2, 3).

Both of these additions were made to the fourth year (advanced clinical experience phase) curriculum and started in May, 2020. 


Timeline

The purpose of the Clinical Curriculum Reform Steering Committee (CCRSC) is to oversee and lead the next phase of curriculum reform at UTCOMLS – clinical education in the third and four year for our medical students.  

See the full historical timeline


The Process

The reform of our clinical curriculum is being led by the Clinical Curriculum Reform Steering Committee (CCRSC).  This group is co-chaired by Stephanie Mann, M.D., and Shonola Da-Silva, M.D.  

Committee members:
  • Nezam Altorok, M.D.
  • Shaza Aouthmany, M.D.
  • Jacob  Bieszczad, M.D.
  • George Darah, M.D.
  • Lori DeShetler, Ph.D.
  • Nicole Dominiak, M.D.
  • Joan Duggan, M.D.
  • David Giovannucci, Ph.D.
  • Nicholas Henkel (M3)
  • Jason Huntley, Ph.D.
  • Jim Kleshinski, M.D.
  • Jeremy Laukka, Ph.D.
  • Coral Matus, M.D.
  • Deepa Mukundan, M.D.
  • Carly Polcyn (M4)
  • Chris Prevette, M.S.
  • Mary R. Smith, M.D.
  • Sharon Thomas, M.D.
  • Cathy Van Hook, M.D.
  • Mehmood Rashid, M.D.
 

Guiding principles for curriculum reform

Based on our values of collaboration, diversity, discovery, professionalism and service, we will engage in curriculum reform with the following guiding principles:

As a college of medicine, we endeavor to graduate students who will be “excellent clinicians and scientists.” Therefore, we will graduate self-regulated, collaborative, ethical lifelong learners who value equity and integrity and will provide the highest quality, evidence-based care for their patients.

Our guiding principles:

  • Student wellbeing and resilience are supported by an inclusive, equitable, and respectful learning environment.
  • Students are valued as integral members of the patient care team and will be given progressive autonomy that allows them to apply their talents, experiences, and abilities to realize their full potential as self-regulated, lifelong, master adaptive learners.
  • Development of professional identity will be supported through meaningful feedback, objective and accurate assessments, and preceptors (faculty and residents) who provide mentoring and role model professionalism, integrity, and ethical behavior.
  • Equity and Inclusion will permeate all aspects of our educational endeavors. We will utilize various methods of instruction and discussion to address the historical, cultural, and systems contexts for inequities in medical education and health care.
  • Integration facilitates meaningful learning and will be accomplished by applying cognitive science and systems thinking into a curriculum that promotes an understanding of the scientific principles of medicine, clinical skills, and competencies associated with health systems science.

FAQs

Why are we changing our clinical curriculum?
Our current structure for the clerkship phase is a siloed traditional block structure.  Best educational practices and national trends in undergraduate medical education have demonstrated that an integrated clerkship experience is more conducive to graduating students who will have the necessary mindset and in depth understanding of clinical medicine to be adaptive learners in our complex health care environment.  Healthcare, science and medicine are rapidly changing; we want to make sure our curriculum evolves and supports the growth and development of our students so they can become facile, adept, clinically excellent physicians.  

Who is planning the clinical curriculum reform? 
There is a Clinical Curriculum Reform Steering Committee that has two co-chairs, 17 faculty, staff, and medical students.  The first meeting of the steering committee was July 16th.  After this meeting, 5 different working groups were formed that will be lead or co-lead by members of the steering committee.  Each working group will provide an opportunity for all interested students, faculty and staff to participate.  Our goal is to be inclusive of all perspectives during this process.

Which classes are going to be affected?
The class of 2024 (M3 class that begins on May 2, 2022, i.e., current M2 class) and all classes going forward.

How can new content be added to an already jammed clinical year?
The redesign of our clinical curriculum will ensure that critical threads (e.g., health equity, ethics, population health, scientific reasoning) are embedded and integrated into each discipline.  These threads will enhance learning and retention for our students.

What about grading?
One of the areas of focus will be our clinical grading paradigm.

Will students be involved in the redesign process?
Absolutely!  There are two student representatives on the Steering Committee.  Additionally, there will be an opportunity for students to participate in the different workgroups that will be designing different components of our clinical curriculum.

If I am not part of a work group, how will I know what is happening?
There will be ongoing communications from DME (via the newsletter), the Dean’s monthly update, MSC communications, townhalls, communication from student representatives on our Clinical Curriculum Committee, and a special webpage on the COMLS website that will communicate updates.  

When will the new clinical curriculum begin?
The newly integrated third year will begin on May 2, 2022.  

How will current M3 and M4 students be affected?
There will be no direct impact on students who are currently doing clinical rotations in either year.  There will be no overlap period.


Read more about our Rocket Medicine curriculum

Last Updated: 6/21/22